RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Black Pepper Caramel Burger with Mango-Green Apple Slaw and Basil-Mint Mayonnaise

My dad was a black pepper FIEND, and this deep and abiding love was definitely passed on my way. This burger combines more freshly-ground, hot, tasty black pepper than you can shake a stick at, with some of my favorite flavor combinations from Thailand. When I can't decide whether or not to order Thai carry-out or a great burger, this is my favorite go-to, homemade compromise.

Ingredients 

1 ripe mango, peeled, cored and shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 green apple, peeled, cored and shredded
1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/8 cup soy sauce (preferably naturally-brewed)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 cup water, divided
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup high-quality or homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
6 round Italian or French bread rolls, split
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup chopped peanuts
6 slices thick-cut bacon, finely diced
1 1/2 lbs. fresh ground chuck

Instructions 

Start your grill. Set-up your grate for direct grilling. If you are using a charcoal grill, you want to work towards a medium-hot fire. If you have a gas grill, you want to set your temperature gauge to medium-high.

Preparing Mango-Green Apple Slaw:
Combine the mango, carrot, green apple, lime juice and soy in a small, non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate or leave at room temperature to marinade until ready to use.

Preparing Black Pepper Caramel:
Combine the sugar, Thai fish sauce and 1/4 cup of the water in a saucepan over your preheated grill. Cook and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to bubble and the sugar granules are no longer visible, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Add the remaining water, garlic, freshly-ground black pepper and continue to cook until the mixture is molten and thick, about another 10 minutes. Taste, salt to season to taste, and set aside.

Preparing Basil-Mint Mayonnaise:
In a small food processor, combine your mayonnaise, fresh basil and fresh mint. Process to create a smooth spread, transfer to a small bowl, and chill to let flavors blend.

Preparing Buns:
Take your split rolls and butter the cut sides. Place the chopped peanuts onto a plate and dip the tops of each roll butter-side down into the peanuts, pressing the roll gently into the peanuts to make sure that they adhere to the rolls. In batches, grill the rolls butter-side down until they are lightly toasted, being careful so as to not scorch the peanuts or the rolls. Remove the rolls from the grill and set them aside to rest, grilled side up.

Preparing Burgers:
In a large bowl, gently combine the finely diced bacon and ground chuck to combine. Form the burgers into six (6) equally-sized patties.

Place patties onto your grill. Grill the first side without moving the patties for approximately four minutes. Juices from the patties will begin to emerge from the top. At this stage, turn each patty a quarter turn, baste each burger liberally with the Black Pepper Caramel, and let grill for two more minutes on the first side. After two minutes, flip the burgers. Douse each burger again with the Black Pepper Caramel and finish grilling on the second side to your desired doneness.

Assembling Burgers:
Spread the bottom of each toasted roll with some Basil-Mint Mayonnaise. Transfer the finished, Black Pepper Caramel-glazed burgers atop each roll bottom. Mound some Mango-Green Apple Slaw atop the burgers, top with the peanut-crusted roll. Cut rolls in half with a serrated knife if desired, serve and enjoy. Thanks!

Comments 

Thanks for this exciting and inspirational annual contest!